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Abbas rejects Israeli offer to allow Palestinian refugees from Syria into the PA, because they would have to renounce the “right of return”

Headline: “ [PA] President [Mahmoud Abbas] rejected Israel’s condition for the entry of Palestinian refugees from Syria”

“[PA] Presidential Spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina announced yesterday [May 21, 2016] that President Mahmoud Abbas rejected the condition set by Israel for the entry of Palestinian refugees from Syria into the territories of the State of Palestine.

Abu Rudeina said to AFP in a conversation from Riyadh [Saudi Arabia] where he is with the president in order to participate in the Arab Economic Summit: ‘President Abbas requested of the Secretary-General of the UN Ban Ki-moon that Israel allow the Palestinians from Syria – victims of the violence taking place there – to enter the territories of the occupied State of Palestine.’ He added that ‘Israel agreed but set an impossible condition – that anyone who enters the territories of the occupied State of Palestine renounce his right of return, which President Mahmoud Abbas absolutely refuses.’

Abu Rudeina said: ‘The issue of the Palestinian refugees and their right of return is one of the issues in a permanent arrangement, and no one can make changes to it, as the international resolutions stipulate their return to their homeland and the homes from which they were expelled, especially [UN] resolution 194, which stipulates the Palestinian refugees’ right of return.’”

UN resolution 194 (Chapter 11, Dec. 11, 1948) states that "the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return." Palestinian leaders argue this means that all Arabs who left Israel during the war (hundreds of thousands) and their descendants (a few million) have a "right of return" to Israel. Israel argues that the resolution only calls for a limited return and only under certain conditions, especially focusing on the words "wishing to return... and live at peace with their neighbors."

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